Water Quality and Use

This page gives tips and advice for protecting the quality of the water running through our towns and land affecting the water we drink, use, fish or play in; also some water saving tips.

Please Report Incidents

To report spills, or pollution incidents: phone 03 543 8400 – after hours service available.

Water Quality - What You Can Do to Maintain and Enhance It

There are many things we can do to improve and maintain the health of our fresh water. Our homes and streams are connected as all rainwater run-off systems drain straight to a stream untreated and unfiltered.


  • Check that downpipes and outside drains on your property only drain rain and clean water, as all stormwater drains let water go unfiltered to the nearest waterway.
  • Read the small print on all chemical containers. There are many ways to be environmentally-friendly but all chemical containers will state: do not use near streams or waterways, and to not allow the product to enter the stormwater or rainwater run-off system.
  • If you are using any soapy or chemically tainted water to clean the car, house or driveway ensure the water run-off is drained onto the garden or lawn and does not enter the roadside gutters, which also drain to the nearest waterway. Fish hate chlorine and soap.
  • When cleaning the roof, disconnect the downpipes and allow the water to go onto the garden, or create a bund to divert the run-off to the lawn. 
  • If using a commercial operator, ensure they have plans to collect any chemically-tainted water run-off to be pumped and disposed of safely and that it does not enter the stormwater or rainwater run-off system.
  • Keep paths and driveways clear of any rubbish, cigarette butts or greenwaste that could be washed with the rain down an outside drain.  
  • If emptying your swimming pool, you must contact your local Council, to book a time to drain the pool water into the waste water system, just so the waste water system does not get overloaded. Water draining down inside drains gets treated.
  • Mop up any driveway chemical or oil spills with an old cloth then dispose in a rubbish bag. Do not hose down driveway pollutants into the gutter.
  • If your property borders a creek or stream, do not allow lawn clippings or garden rubbish to enter the water; composting works best on land, whereas in water it harms fish.
  • Report to Council any discharges of liquid or rubbish to water, or land where it may enter water, or any drainage of wetlands (Phone 03 543 8400 – after hours service available).
  • Richmond's urban streams are rated as of poor quality. Check out your nearest stream to monitor its health.


  • Fence off streams, rivers, swamps, wetlands and seeps to prevent stock access.
  • Plant banks of waterways and lower ends of drains to help stabilise the banks and trap contaminants.
  • Make sure farm dairy effluent irrigators are operating effectively and are moved frequently to prevent effluent ponding and run-off into waterways.
  • Avoid break-feeding or mob-stocking close to waterways, especially in wet weather.
  • Form a landcare group with your neighbours to discuss and use better land management practices to protect your local waterways.
  • Keep hazardous substances (such as oil and pesticides) out of our stormwater system and away from groundwater wells.
  • Install stormwater detention areas in new subdivisions to improve water quality (less silt and animal faeces reaches the rivers and streams).
  • Report to Council if you notice any discharges of liquid or rubbish to water, or land where it may enter water, or wetlands.

To report spills, or pollution incidents: phone 03 543 8400 – after hours service available.

Clean Streams

Both urban and rural streams require well managed margins and protection from pollutants to protect water quality and freshwater life into the future. 

Council is keen to hear from any landowner or group interested in working on streamside (riparian) projects. If you want to find out more, or want a copy of the Strategy, contact the Policy Planner - Land at Council:

Contact Tasman District Council for further information

Water Leaks: They Waste our Water and Cost You Money

  • Conserve water by fixing leaks, and use your water more efficiently.
  • Water Leaks

Water Conservation